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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2007 Oct;16(10):2033-41.

Polymorphisms in nucleotide excision repair genes, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-DNA adducts, and breast cancer risk.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, 161 Fort Washington Avenue, New York, NY 10032, USA.


Genes involved in the nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathway, which removes bulky DNA adducts, are potential low-penetrance cancer susceptibility genes. We recently reported an association between detectable polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-DNA adducts and breast cancer risk. Using a population-based breast cancer case-control study on Long Island, New York, we examined whether polymorphisms in NER genes modified the association between PAH-DNA adducts and breast cancer risk. We examined polymorphisms in ERCC1 (3'-untranslated region 8092C/A), XPA (5'-untranslated region -4G/A), XPD (Asp(312)Asn in exon 10), XPF (Arg(415)Gln in exon 8), and XPG (Asp(1104)His in exon 15) in 1,053 breast cancer cases and 1,102 population-based controls. The presence of at least one variant allele in XPD was associated with a 25% increase in the odds ratio [OR, 1.25; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 1.04-1.50] for breast cancer. The increase associated with homozygosity of the variant alleles for XPD and ERCC1 was stronger among those with detectable PAH-DNA adduct levels (OR, 1.83; 95% CI, 1.22-2.76 and OR, 1.92; 95% CI, 1.14-3.25 for detectable versus nondetectable adducts and homozygous wild-type genotype for XPD and ERCC1, respectively). We found no association between XPA, XPF, and XPG genotypes, PAH-DNA adducts, and breast cancer risk. When we combined genotypes for these NER pathway genes, there was a significant trend for increasing breast cancer risk with increasing number of putative high-risk alleles. Overall, this study suggests that the risk of breast cancer may be elevated among women with polymorphisms in NER pathway genes and detectable PAH-DNA adducts.

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